There are two things that we seem to do a lot of on shoots- waiting and cleaning. The waiting is inevitable; between the machines and the crews, there's always something to be moved or adjusted or set.
As for the cleaning, well… Even though it's realistic to for a tractor to be dirty at the end of a long day in the field, it's not what people want to see in an ad.* So any and every chance we get, we wipe down the equipment. From the biggest tractors to the smallest riding lawnmower, we make those things shine.**
And places that look like they should be easy to clean can get tricky when you've got a hot muffler to deal with.
We even clean underneath the machines. This is the view while cleaning underneath a (parked) swather. We use touch up paint for scratches we can't buff out.
That big purple thing we're using is a California Duster. I don't know who from our team first discovered them, but they've been a mainstay on our shoots ever since. They actually work better the older they get, so most factories keep a couple rattling around in their toolboxes.
*Construction equipment seems to be the exception to the "clean equipment" rule. They can get away with dirty, hard-working stuff. Not sure why the difference.
**Wheel rakes are my least favorite to clean, thanks to all the teeth. Coworkers have told me that tillage tools are pretty rough, too.
***Birds seem to really love cab roofs. Yuck.